Also known as garbage compactors, or waste compactors, trash compactors are able to reduce the volume of waste materials by up to 75%, saving space in landfills and reducing the costs of storing and removing trash.
Industries such as food processing, hospitality, retail and consumer, material handling and pharmaceutical benefit from trash compacting either in reducing waste volume for landfill disposal, or in preparing trash for recycling.
Trash compactors, or industrial compactors, are used to crush, flatten and compress cans, bottles, fibrous materials, food products, paper etc. Most waste materials can be handled safely in a trash compactor; however aerosol cans, batteries, flammable or explosive materials and poisonous materials should be disposed of in approved ways.
Trash compactors can be designed to process dry and solid waste, or manufactured with extraction capabilities for food products or other trash items that may contain residual liquids. Residential trash compactors are smaller and used for household waste, whereas many garbage collection trucks have trash compactors on board to conserve space when transporting garbage to landfills. Warehouses, manufacturing facilities, medical centers, hotels etc. all use compactors on their premises. As trash is produced, it is compacted and readied for disposal or recycling.
There are three main components to a basic trash compactor: a trash container, a motor and a flat steel press. The motor has to exert a great amount of pressure and is typically powered by a hydraulic system which minimizes heat production and reduces energy loss. During the compaction process, the waste materials and trash are placed in the container and the steel press is lowered onto it with great force.
The pressure results in the compression of the materials into a smaller volume. When the pressure measures a set point and the trash can be no further compressed, the motor reverts to its original position, allowing the compacted trash to be removed, either manually or by an automated system. Commercial trash compactors typically use bins or bags to store the newly compressed materials, while industrial compactors and industrial balers produce bales of compressed waste.
Trash compactors will continue to play a role in the process of reducing the carbon footprint of industrial activity. They reduce the frequency of waste removal, minimize the potential for overflowing waste and contaminants, provide more hygienic environments and improve facility maintenance.